My son will be 4 in 5 months. I have heard the stories. “Two is nothing..wait until 3”, but I still thought (…like everything else since having kids), “not me. My kids won’t do that…”
This past week it has been R O U G H to say the least. I can’t decide whether it is because Dad is out of town for work, so he knows Mommy is usually a push-over, or he is just growing like crazy and not getting enough sleep, or he literally turned into a teenager overnight.
Today, I was pushed over my limit. As a working mom, I can’t tell you how excited I am to rush out of the office and head to the kids school to pick them up. The 3 of us get into a routine when Dad travels, and usually, it just works.
Yesterday, I got a report that he didn’t listen, and hit a girl on the head with a bowling pin. After calling my husband crying, he told me to hold off on any crazy punishments and just talk to him. So, we talked, and prayed, and talked some more and agreed that today would be better.
Today, I got a report that he was worse than yesterday-hitting, tripping, even running into a bathroom to kick a friend while he was going potty. He was not allowed to participate in today’s fun activities, but his teacher also told him he cannot play with his class tomorrow during water day.
I had the whole way home to determine “punishments.”
We are absolutely an outdoor family. Time spent together is done outside, playing games like soccer, hockey, baseball, playing in the sandbox, on the playground, going for walks…whatever we can come up at the time. So my #1 rule, was that he was not allowed to play outside today-which created a H U G E hole in his heart.
My #2 rule was “No movie before bedtime.” My father in law is probably rolling in his grave knowing I allow him to lay in bed and watch a movie while he falls asleep, but for me, something has to give-and there is not enough time in the evening to get everything done that I need to. Even though he is always watching something educational, he doesn’t know it, so bedtime tonight was quite the struggle.
My #3 rule was “No playing with any of your toys.” He wasn’t allowed to pick up a single toy this evening. I told him instead, if he needed an activity, he could practice writing his letters. I shouldn’t have been so excited, but he wrote a B by himself for the first time tonight, y’all. Had to remind myself that this was currently a punishment. But still, he did so good! (He will NEVERRRR sit down long enough to let me practice with him)
My Rule #4 was that he had to help wash the dishes. He actually had so much fun with this rule, that he quit fighting me on anything, and asked if he can do the dishes every night. Maybe, he had fun, or maybe he is already a super manipulating grown person inside a child body that he wanted me to second guess myself, and it worked.
My last rule was that he had to help me put away all the laundry I have been folding while they slept, but were unable to go put in their rooms. Once again, he loved it so much, he asked if he could put his sisters clothes away too.
In no way do I condone his behavior at school today, but after all has been said and done I am posting this in hopes that I wasn’t too hard on him. I have prayed over him, prayed for myself, and prayed for God to help me guide him, and help me show him the way that God intends on us treating our family and friends. I also thought maybe some other mommies are or have been at a point where they just don’t know what to do anymore, and can offer some advice, or maybe just reading one tiny bit of what I have been going through will make them feel like they don’t have it so bad :P. Punishing at home, for what was done at school, is so, so hard. None of these behaviors are displayed at home. I keep reminding myself that he is only 3, and really (usually) has a heart of gold. I also know that I am in no way a perfect parent. Plus, seeing his abilities today, I may be implementing a chore chart very soon.
So, what is it? Have you been there? Are you here now? Are you like I was, and think it would never be your kid? I would love to hear 🙂